porting PalmOS apps?

Joe Pfeiffer jjpfeifferjr at comcast.net
Sun Jan 21 14:52:59 CET 2007

Paul Bohme writes:
>Joe Pfeiffer wrote:
>> Is anyone looking into the difficulty of porting old PalmOS
>> applications to OpenMoko?  There are a few of them that I'd really
>> hate to lose (the Pilot-DB flat-file database and the Timing multiple
>> timer are two I use a lot, and haven't seen any equivalent Linux
>> programs for).
>> Hmm, if not, that might give me something to look into...  timing
>> couldn't be a direct port since the source isn't open (and besides,
>> it's got some interface decisions I'd want to change), but pilot-db is
>> GPL.
>Unfortunately PalmOS apps don't 'port' - the API is so bad that the only 
>solution is to rewrite the application.  Unless there are some internal 
>algorithms that are totally system independent (and with the above named 
>apps I don't see much if any room for this) there is little if any code 
>that can be harvested for a port to a new platform.

Well...  it depends on how well the code isolates "file" manipulation
and UI from everything else.  You're right, if they're deeply entwined
like they are in most programs then it would be hopeless.

>I worked on the platform from the late 1.x days into the 3.x, and 
>because I'm a packrat still have several (including my first unit - a 
>USRobotics PalmPilot 5000) collecting dust.
>Been there, done that.  Ran away screaming. ;-)

I wrote a little bit of PalmOS stuff (started an ato VIN decoder once,
but lost interest).  I wouldn't say the API is as bad as you do, but
it's certainly *different*.

>I think I remember the pilot-db app, if you look around there may be 
>something that fits the same shoes - perhaps something SQLite based?

I haven't seen anything...

It does turn out (I found out after my earlier post) that there
is a Java-based equivalent  that even uses the same file formats.
Unfortunately, my experience with that when I found it yesterday was
that it threw an exception moments after bringing up the splash
screen, so I don't know how useful it'll be...

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